Are You Going to Try for a Girl?

I have five boys. Since I live in Utah, the land of many children, I rarely get judgmental questions about that number. What I do get asked is:

Are you going to try for a girl?

The assumption, of course, is that I want a female offspring. I don’t. I’ve dreaded making a girl since my own Maturation Program in school. My feelings of absolute shock and betrayal are still present, besides the knowledge that I’d have to spring that information on my own daughter someday…

“That life you’ve lived up to now, with sunshine and rainbows and happiness? Well, dearest daughter, that’s all over in a few years! Once you hit your teens; you’ve got bleeding, pain, weight gain, and hormone fluctuations. -But don’t worry, when you don’t feel like cutting your own uterus out of your midsection, you’ll be able to put on a lot of weight for 9 months and pop out something that you’ll need to care for …for 20 years, at least…”

Yeah, I’ve got issues with being a mother. But if you didn’t know that already, you probably missed the name of the blog.

Back to the point: I’m terrified of birthing a girl. In that light, one could assume I’ve never been trying for one. I think it’s obvious that I haven’t, anyway, but can see how others assume that based on my constant impregnation.

Frankly, I’m not sure why I keep getting pregnant, either.

Either, or: no, I’m not “trying for a girl.” I’m trying for a baby. If that baby comes out with his (or her!) vital body parts then we’ve succeeded. If he (or she!) is also healthy and whole then we’ve done even better.

And if s/he is an excellent sleeper, we’ve hit the jackpot.

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©2020 Chelsea Owens

Photo Credit: Picsea

Did You Go Swimming Today? and Other Post-Delivery Fallacies

Hi, Mom.

“Hi, honey! Were you sleeping?”

No… (I was. I try to sound perkier.) What’s up?

“Oh! I’m at Wal-mart, and all their Christmas stuff’s 75% off!”

That’s great… but I’m not schlepping around yet.

“Oh… okay. I just thought you’d want to know.”

Okay. (I try to sound grateful and happy.) Thanks for telling me…

My mother’s a great person. I’m indebted to her for everything, beginning with the gift of life. However, I’ve noticed she’s not really aware of what I’m experiencing this time around the pregnancy and recovery loop. That exchange is just one example; though, to be fair, she called around 10 a.m. and not earlier. Odds are I was probably awake. She just happened to forget that I couldn’t go shopping yet since I’m STILL HEALING from a C-Section.

She’s not the only one, either.

A neighbor of mine asked if I was going to attend a Christmas choir concert about a week after I’d delivered. I responded:

No, Carol*. C-Section.

Just today, my husband took the other boys to a swimming pool with their grandparents. A friend texted, asking if I was going. As in, asking if I were swimming.

No, I can’t.

*Not supposed to?*

No, and don’t feel like it.

That’s the beauty of the C-Section recovery, I suppose: while I’m not allowed to do certain activities, I also don’t FEEL up to them. Heavy-lifting? Too tired and weak. Picking that diaper up off the ground? My sore stomach region says, “No bending.” Swimming at a pool? Can’t fit into a suit.

It’s not just me recovering, either.

“Hey, Mom!” (It’s my son that loves fun, just before going to the pool.) “D’ya want me to get the car seat?”

The baby’s not going to the pool.

“Why not? He has a suit.”

(I smile.) That won’t fit him quite yet. Also, he’s too little and would get too cold right now.

“Okay!”

Maybe by the time summer comes around, both the baby and I will be up for more. We’ll at least both fit into our swimsuits by then.

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*Name changed

Photo Credit: Lubomirkin

©2020 Chelsea Owens

I Had My Baby!

Just a little heads-up: I delivered my fifth baby boy on December 2, 2019 at 1344. He weighed 6 lbs, 4 oz and measured 19 inches long.

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He’s much smaller than he seems in the picture, but we’re a month along and doing fine.

The Merits of Yelling in the House

My husband hates yelling. Up until a few years ago, he would give me a look or chastise me whenever I chose TALKING LOUDLY from somewhere in the house over getting up and talking in person. I received a similar reaction when I’d get upset at the children (or him) and raise my voice.

Unfortunately for him, we moved to a two-story house six years ago. We did so when I was pregnant and exhausted. I therefore failed to see the benefit of climbing seventeen stairs to engage him face-to-face. I also left piles of socks, toys, and children at the top or bottom of said stairs to consolidate trips, so why not consolidate conversation as well?

I reverted back to calling to him from wherever I was (usually the couch), including times when I knew he could intervene much more quickly than I could in children’s fights (because getting off the couch is tricky).

But that baby grew up. He became six years older and I became 30 pounds lighter. I had few excuses to yell, even when the boys attempted fratricide. Coincidentally, talks and pointed looks from the husband increased when my volume also increased.

Fortunately for me, I’m now pregnant again and even more exhausted than before…

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Photo Credit: Stock Photography

©2019 Chelsea Owens

No Kids Allowed: The Death of the Family

What would the world be like without children? Quieter, I imagine. Less messy. Less chaotic. No rules about censoring swearing on the radio, maybe. Toy departments geared toward 20-somethings. An absence of miniature items, everywhere. An absence of parks and children’s museums.

In a world such as that, how would the odd, pregnant woman be treated? Stared at, I imagine. Whispered about. Talked about. Shunned. Insulted, perhaps? Watched closely when she tries to purchase clothing to fit her expanding size. A general doctor explaining how he rarely sees this sort of thing anymore -wouldn’t she prefer to abort?

And then, how would others react to marriage and families? Strangely, I imagine. With wariness or confusion. With raised eyebrows and intrusive questions about life choices. Without tax benefits. Without special Family Days, Kids Meals, or Half-Price Admissions.

You might think such scenarios to be far-fetched. Surely we will never reach the point of a world without children! Of course pregnant women will be accepted and supported! When will couples and their families be ostracized?!

I tell you: sooner than you think.

Over a decade ago, a good friend told me she lived in Germany as part of being in the Air Force. She said she received openly hostile looks for bringing her baby son to a restaurant, yet a woman with a dog was accepted.

When I’ve walked around, heaving my heavy stomach in a waddling fashion, I’ve gotten a judgmental vibe in the downtown areas. Where youth, vigor, liberal views and pro-choice abound in a college crowd; there is no love for pregnancy in the air. There are almost tangible questions of, “Why would you choose that?” amongst the stares.

And, outside of our state, we’ve experienced impatience, judgmental looks, and ignorance regarding our children. At a children’s museum on free children’s admission day nearly 8 years ago, a woman in the gift shop told her coworker she’d “shut that baby up” -in reference to our 2-year-old making interesting sounds in the echoing entryway.

I understand. I do.

I understand that some women do not want to birth children.

I understand that quite a few couples don’t want to raise children.

I understand that many people do not want to deal with children at all.

But, I know that an anti-family social norm is killing us. I know a world without children is not sustainable. I know we need pregnancy. I know we need marriage and families.

And, I know that we can’t just assume someone else will take care of that responsibility. We need, instead, a return to the social assumption that families are the norm. We need love and support for those trying to raise their offspring to not be sociopaths. We need acceptance, appreciation, approval, and attention.

We need families.

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If you’ve the time, here’s my week in review:

Sunday, September 29: “9 Halloween Movies for Kids (Adults, Too!),” in which I listed my favorite Halloween movies for kids and families.

Monday, September 30: Wrote a poem titled, “The Morning Menagerie.”

Tuesday, October 1: Shared a quote about families from Fathers in the Home.

Wednesday, October 2: Recommended saving money by buying in bulk.

Thursday, October 3: “Naptime Isn’t Just for Kids,” a snippet about how great naps are -for parents.

Friday, October 4: Wondered about people’s evening mealtimes in “How Do You Dinner?

Saturday, October 5: Shared Scary Mommy‘s tweet about hypocritical in-laws.

Sunday, October 6: That’s today!

 

Photo Credit: Tyler Nix

©2019 Chelsea Owens